Finals should be administered before AP tests

May 28, 2010 — by Staff editorial

At Saratoga High, the AP season at the beginning of May defines much of academic life on campus. After a long year of work, juniors, seniors and a handful of sophomores or freshmen demonstrate their knowledge during the two weeks of testing.

However, the end of APs does not always signal the end of the road for students. Many have noted a growing tendency of AP teachers to administer finals after AP testing. Such a policy not only unnecessarily increases student stress but also proves counterproductive to the goal of an AP classroom.

When students sign up for an AP class, they are generally doing so with the understanding that a main intent of the class is to prepare them to take the AP exam. With this understood, it is not logical to administer a cumulative final after the test has already been taken since it serves as no help to the student’s goal of earning a passing score on the AP test.

That being said, it is fairly reasonable that AP classes administer cumulative finals just as regular classes do, even if it is not very popular among students. However, these finals should be given, without exception, before the AP exam. By adhering to this policy, teachers would not only have a fair method by which to evaluate a student’s performance in the class, but also would achieve the goal of helping the student succeed on the actual AP examination.

Making it a policy to administer finals before the actual AP test would serve the two-pronged purpose of helping students prepare for the AP test and also relieving their stress. Such a policy would be welcomed with open arms by stressed out students at SHS.

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